Success Stories

Katherine finds job success in disability service for high school students

Katherine Nolette wants to join the workforce when she graduates high school, a feat that can be challenging for some people with disabilities. 

Katherine won’t let her disability stop her from achieving her goals. She is preparing for her future through a Goodwill disability service for high school students called Bootcamp. Katherine has participated in Bootcamp for two years. During this time, she has grown personally and professionally. Through the program, Katherine decided she wants to be a shelf-stocker at Target, a goal she came up with herself.

“It blows me away how far Katherine has come,” said Heidi Gilbert, an Ed Tech III at Maranacook Community High School. “She’s able to stay with tasks now when she couldn’t follow through with a whole task.” 

Gilbert has known Katherine since elementary school and has seen her growth through the years. 

“I think between Bootcamp and some other programs, that now she’s able to think ahead when she leaves high school,” Gilbert said.

When asked what she thinks of the program, Katherine said with a grin, “I really like it.”  

A senior at Maranacook, Katherine likes that Bootcamp teaches students about how to get a job. Through the program she has participated in a paid work-based learning experience and an informational interview.  

“She’s super quiet, but once you get to know her, you’ll see that she laughs a little bit more or she’ll bust a little cute joke somewhere in there,” said Bootcamp career advisor Alexis Wyman. “I just love seeing the growth she’s had.”

What is Bootcamp? 

Goodwill NNE offers “Bootcamp,” a Vocational Rehabilitation program aimed at high school students who have a disability. Program participants learn essential job skills in the classroom before their graduation day. Career advisors teach a combination of soft and hard skills to help prepare students for the transition following high school. Bootcamp students can take part in informational interviews, job shadows, and work-based learning experiences. 

The disability service for students is free to participants and schools, making it more accessible. Bootcamp is currently in dozens of schools across Maine, including: Belfast Area High School, Carrabec High School, Glenn Stratton Learning Center, Islesboro Central School, Lewiston High School, and Waterville High School.

To learn more about Bootcamp, visit the program page on our website.  

Like this? Share it: